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Wildfires Western wildfires39; smoke is so widespread it reached New York City

Wildfires Western wildfires39; smoke is so widespread it reached New York City

canada wildfires

Wildfires Western wildfires39; smoke is so widespread it reached New York City

Massive Wildfires in U.S. West Bring Haze to East Coast | Hamodia … Wed, 21 Jul 2021 06:00:00 -0700-Extreme heat and dry conditions are fueling raging wildfires in the western US, charring more than a million acres, requiring evacuations and creating smoky …

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Smoke from the Western wildfires is so widespread, it reached New York City

July 21, 2021

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(CNN)Extreme heat and dry conditions are fueling raging wildfires in the western US, charring more than a million acres, requiring evacuations and creating smoky conditions visible from space.

Smoke stretched early Wednesday all the way to the East Coast, including New York City, because high-level winds carried them thousands of miles from the West.

The smoke mixed down to the surface in New York City, creating an eerie scene Wednesday morning — though a cold front is expected to usher the smoke out of the area later in the day.

In the West, the fires have caused power outages, destroyed structures and prompted the deployment of the Oregon National Guard.

As extreme drought still grips most of the West and the fires have become so intense they've created their own weather systems, the threat of more fires remains.

In Oregon — where eight fires have burned nearly 475,000 acres — officials said the current fire season is unlike any they've seen before.

“I would categorize this fire season thus far as historic in terms of the amount of resources we've deployed, how many times we've deployed — within a three-week period we've mobilized to six conflagrations — and this is the earliest and most significant mobilization to date,” Mariana Ruiz-Temple with the Oregon fire marshal's office said Tuesday.

At least 1.29 million acres have burned in 83 large fires across 13 states as of Tuesday, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. More than 19,000 wildland firefighters and support personnel have been deployed to deal with the blazes.

Advisories for elevated fire potential and activity have been issued across Idaho, California, Oregon and the Northern Rockies, according to fire center.

It's not just fires in the US contributing to the smoky haze. The Canadian province of British Columbia declared an emergency due to wildfires there effective Wednesday. Nearly 300 active wildfires have been reported in the province.

Bootleg Fire is largest in country

In Oregon, record-breaking, triple-digit temperatures and severe drought have devastated parts of the state.

The conditions are fueling the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, which is the largest burning wildfire in the country. The Bootleg Fire has scorched more than 394,000 acres and prompted evacuations with only 32% containment, according to InciWeb, the US clearinghouse for wildfire information.

The climate crisis has made deadlier and more destructive wildfires the new normal. And Oregon Gov. Kate Brown cited recent fires, ice storms, record-breaking high temperatures and drought emergencies as evidence that climate change is impacting her state.

“There's absolutely no question that climate change is playing out for before our eyes,” Brown said at a news conference Tuesday. “We saw the heat dome event a few weeks ago; we unfortunately lost a lot of Oregonians through that event. In February, we saw devastating ice storms, over a half a million people lost power last fall, as you are well aware; we've had unprecedented wildfires.”

Fire potential in the state is being driven by drought conditions, with 90% of the Oregon in either exceptional, extreme or severe drought, Doug Grafe, chief of fire protection at the Oregon Department of Forestry said while forecasting a “long, difficult fire season.”

He said it's possible that another 50,000 to 100,000 acres could burn before the Bootleg Fire is contained.

“The future for us for the remainder of the season continues to look above normal dry and above normal temperatures,” Grafe said. “So this is not going to return to normal anytime soon.”

Red flag warnings in the area will continue into Wednesday evening, signaling dry and windy conditions with lots of smoke, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

As a result of the fires, 62 members of the Oregon National Guard have been deployed, along with Blackhawk helicopters to provide water drops, fire spotting and medivac support, Major General Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard said.

In addition to feeding fires, Oregon's hot, dry conditions are also impacting Christmas trees grown in the state.

“It's killing them,” Jacob Hemphill, a Christmas tree farmer in Clackamas County, said of the relentless heat this summer. “It's horrible, there is nothing we can do.”

Unusually warm temperatures and severe dryness this year have caused irreversible burns on many trees, resulting in fewer trees to choose from this upcoming holiday season as well as potentially higher prices, growers said.

California's Dixie Fire may have been sparked by electrical equipment

Further south, the Dixie Fire has burned more than 85,000 acres in Butte County, California, after igniting last week, according to the state department of forestry and fire protection, or Cal Fire. It is approximately 15% contained.

Butte County is the site of California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire in 2018, the Camp Fire. It burned a total of 153,336 acres, destroyed 18,804 structures, and killed 85 people.

The Dixie Fire is so intense, it produced a thunderstorm, Incident Meteorologist Julia Ruthford said in a briefing Monday night. “The fire actually generated a thunderstorm over itself that led to some lightning out ahead of it and some really gusty and erratic winds due to that extreme, extreme conditions due to the thunderstorm overhead,” she said.

Evacuations have been ordered in the area and the fire already destroyed two structures and threatens more than 800 others.

On Tuesday, Pacific Gas and Electric said the fire may have been sparked by equipment it manages.

In a preliminary filing with the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E detailed an outage alert July 13, the same day the fire started. A responding utility worker found three blown fuses and a tree leaning into a pole, with a small fire on the ground near the base of the tree.

The fire was reported to authorities and Cal Fire sent aerial firefighters to douse the flames, which had jumped from an initial estimate of 1 to 2 acres, to 10 to 15 acres, according to the filing.

Since then, the fire has grown exponentially, burning in “remote areas with limited access and steep terrain,” Cal Fire said, which is hampering access by ground crews.

Near the California-Nevada border, the Tamarack Fire, has grown to nearly 39,045 after sparking July 4, according to information from InciWeb.

A lightning strike near the Alpine County, California, community of Markleeville started the fire, which has triggered mandatory evacuations for a number of campgrounds and neighborhoods in the area, and prompted road closures.

CNN's Chris Boyette, Stella Chan, Jason Hanna, Brisa Colon, Cheri Mossburg, Melissa Alonso, Andy Rose, and Kendall Lanier contributed to this report.


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Western wildfires' smoke is so widespread, it reached New York City … Wed, 21 Jul 2021 06:00:00 -0700-Skies over New York City were hazy Tuesday as strong winds blew smoke east from California, Oregon, Montana and other states. Oregon's Bootleg Fire grew to …

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Massive Wildfires in U.S. West Bring Haze to East Coast

July 21, 2021

National

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 10:51 am | י”ב אב תשפ”א

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 10:51 am | י”ב אב תשפ”א

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Smoke blocks the view looking toward Manhattan from Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Wildfires in the American West, including one burning in Oregon that is currently the largest in the U.S., are creating hazy skies as far away as New York as the massive infernos spew smoke and ash into the air in columns up to 6 miles high.

Skies over New York City were hazy Tuesday as strong winds blew smoke east from California, Oregon, Montana and other states. Oregon’s Bootleg Fire grew to 606 square miles (1,569 square kilometers) — half the size of Rhode Island.

Fires also grew on both sides of California’s Sierra Nevada. In Alpine County, the so-called California Alps, the Tamarack Fire caused evacuations of several communities and grew to 61 square miles (158 square kilometers) with no containment. The Dixie Fire, near the site of 2018’s deadly Paradise Fire, was more than 90 square miles (163 square kilometers) and threatened tiny communities in the Feather River Valley region.

The smoke on the U.S. East Coast was reminiscent of last fall when multiple large fires burning in Oregon in the state’s worst fire season in recent memory choked the local skies with pea-soup smoke but also impacted air quality several thousand miles away.

“We’re seeing lots of fires producing a tremendous amount of smoke, and… by the time that smoke gets to the eastern portion of the country where it’s usually thinned out, there’s just so much smoke in the atmosphere from all these fires that it’s still pretty thick,” said David Lawrence, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “Over the last two years we’ve seen this phenomenon.”

Tony Galvez fled the Tamarack Fire in California on Tuesday with his daughter at the last minute and found out later that his home was gone.

“I lost my whole life, everything I’ve ever had. The kids are what’s going to matter,” he said as he fielded calls from relatives. “I got three teenagers. They’re going to go home to a moonscape.”

The Oregon fire has ravaged the southern part of the state and has been expanding by up to 4 miles (6 kilometers) a day, pushed by gusting winds and critically dry weather that’s turned trees and undergrowth into a tinderbox.

Fire crews have had to retreat from the flames for 10 consecutive days as fireballs jump from treetop to treetop, trees explode, embers fly ahead of the fire to start new blazes and, in some cases, the inferno’s heat creates its own weather of shifting winds and dry lightning. Monstrous clouds of smoke and ash have risen up to 6 miles into the sky and are visible for more than 100 air miles.

The fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest merged with a smaller nearby blaze Tuesday, and it has repeatedly breached a perimeter of treeless dirt and fire retardant meant to stop its advance.

A red flag weather warning signifying dangerous fire conditions was in effect through Tuesday and possibly longer. The fire is 30% contained.

“We’re in this for as long as it takes to safely confine this monster,” Incident Commander Rob Allen said.

At least 2,000 homes have been evacuated at some point during the fire and another 5,000 threatened. At least 70 homes and more than 100 outbuildings have gone up in flames. Thick smoke chokes the area where residents and wildlife alike have already been dealing with months of drought and extreme heat. No one has died.

Extremely dry conditions and heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight. Climate change has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will presumably continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

On Tuesday, officials temporarily closed all recreational and public access to state-managed lands in eastern Washington due to fire danger, starting Friday. The closure will affect about 2,260 square miles (5,853 square kilometers) of land.

National

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 10:51 am | י”ב אב תשפ”א

image

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 10:51 am | י”ב אב תשפ”א

image
Smoke blocks the view looking toward Manhattan from Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Wildfires in the American West, including one burning in Oregon that is currently the largest in the U.S., are creating hazy skies as far away as New York as the massive infernos spew smoke and ash into the air in columns up to 6 miles high.

Skies over New York City were hazy Tuesday as strong winds blew smoke east from California, Oregon, Montana and other states. Oregon’s Bootleg Fire grew to 606 square miles (1,569 square kilometers) — half the size of Rhode Island.

Fires also grew on both sides of California’s Sierra Nevada. In Alpine County, the so-called California Alps, the Tamarack Fire caused evacuations of several communities and grew to 61 square miles (158 square kilometers) with no containment. The Dixie Fire, near the site of 2018’s deadly Paradise Fire, was more than 90 square miles (163 square kilometers) and threatened tiny communities in the Feather River Valley region.

The smoke on the U.S. East Coast was reminiscent of last fall when multiple large fires burning in Oregon in the state’s worst fire season in recent memory choked the local skies with pea-soup smoke but also impacted air quality several thousand miles away.

“We’re seeing lots of fires producing a tremendous amount of smoke, and… by the time that smoke gets to the eastern portion of the country where it’s usually thinned out, there’s just so much smoke in the atmosphere from all these fires that it’s still pretty thick,” said David Lawrence, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “Over the last two years we’ve seen this phenomenon.”

Tony Galvez fled the Tamarack Fire in California on Tuesday with his daughter at the last minute and found out later that his home was gone.

“I lost my whole life, everything I’ve ever had. The kids are what’s going to matter,” he said as he fielded calls from relatives. “I got three teenagers. They’re going to go home to a moonscape.”

The Oregon fire has ravaged the southern part of the state and has been expanding by up to 4 miles (6 kilometers) a day, pushed by gusting winds and critically dry weather that’s turned trees and undergrowth into a tinderbox.

Fire crews have had to retreat from the flames for 10 consecutive days as fireballs jump from treetop to treetop, trees explode, embers fly ahead of the fire to start new blazes and, in some cases, the inferno’s heat creates its own weather of shifting winds and dry lightning. Monstrous clouds of smoke and ash have risen up to 6 miles into the sky and are visible for more than 100 air miles.

The fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest merged with a smaller nearby blaze Tuesday, and it has repeatedly breached a perimeter of treeless dirt and fire retardant meant to stop its advance.

A red flag weather warning signifying dangerous fire conditions was in effect through Tuesday and possibly longer. The fire is 30% contained.

“We’re in this for as long as it takes to safely confine this monster,” Incident Commander Rob Allen said.

At least 2,000 homes have been evacuated at some point during the fire and another 5,000 threatened. At least 70 homes and more than 100 outbuildings have gone up in flames. Thick smoke chokes the area where residents and wildlife alike have already been dealing with months of drought and extreme heat. No one has died.

Extremely dry conditions and heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight. Climate change has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will presumably continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

On Tuesday, officials temporarily closed all recreational and public access to state-managed lands in eastern Washington due to fire danger, starting Friday. The closure will affect about 2,260 square miles (5,853 square kilometers) of land.


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– July 21, 2021
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